My husband and I have been to several Sandals Resorts, including St. Lucia Grande, Negril, Royal Caribbean, Royal Bahamian and Whitehouse. This was our first trip to Antigua and the best experience we've had. Through our travel agent, Mike McHugh of Dreammakers Vacations, we booked non-stop flights out of JFK, and a six night stay at the resort. Mike made our dinner reservations ahead of time, and the concierge, Donovan Dobson, had our reservations ready when we arrived.
Our experience at the airport was unlike any Sandals welcome we've had. There was no welcoming person waiting to greet us with a beverage and smooth check-in. We had a long wait for a van to transport us to the resort and the two gentlemen signing us in seemed stressed and frazzled. At this point we didn't know what to expect, but everything changed once we arrived at the resort.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with the typical washcloth and escorted to a waiting lounge where we filled out the necessary paperwork. We then met Donovan Dobson, who is the director of guest services. He informed us we had been upgraded to a rondoval with our own private pool. We travel with another couple who were upgraded as well. The suite was beautiful and our pool was a luxury we had never had at any of the other resorts. Our rondoval was located in the Caribbean section which is a tropical paradise, which exactly what we wanted. We were only a few yards from the beach, which is pristine and immaculately kept. The big pool was not far and gorgeous. The other part of the resort is the Mediterranean which looked to us like a contemporary plush hotel. We wanted to stay in the Caribbean Grove because we were closer to the beach and wanted the tropical atmosphere.
If I had a complaint at all, it would be that the food was not great at some of the restaurants. We had reservations for 2 nights at the OK Corral which features Tex Mex cuisine. We ordered the filet mignon, which was definitely not the filet we're used to, but very thin and tough. We cancelled our 2nd reservation. We had burgers at Barefoot at the Sea which were way too well-done and the pizza at Bella Napoli was undercooked. The breakfast buffet at Bayside was excellent, though at times, the food was not replenished and you had to wait around. Lunch at the Bayside was buffet style, and good, if you want a heavy lunch, which we didn't every day, so we utilized the Courtyard Bistro which had great burgers & sandwiches. Our dinners at Kimonos, Marios and Bayside were delicious. We didn't go to the Sushi Bar or Eleanors so I can't comment on those restaurants. Cafe de Paris had outstanding sweets and coffee. If we couldn't find my husband, we usually found him there.
The grounds are immaculately kept and inviting. Plenty of lounges by the pools, outside sitting, where you can just congregate and relax and an overall friendly atmosphere.
I can't say enough about Donovan Dobson, director of Guest Services. Out of all of the Sandals we have visited, he is by far the best at what he does!! From the moment we met him upon arrival, to the day we left, he made sure that all of our needs were met in a friendly way. He saw us daily to make sure that everything was well and that we were enjoying ourselves to the fullest. We had a slight problem with the drain in our sink. Within 10 minutes of informing Donovan, a maintenance man was at our door and repaired the sink. He also made sure that the concierge replenished our bar with the beverages we requested on a daily and timely manner. We were sad to leave on our final morning and he made sure that both he, and the general manager of the resort, Mr. Christ were there to say good-bye and ensure that our transport to the airport was handled in an expedient way.
Housekeeping was excellent as well. Our rooms were immaculate and cleaned every morning by the time we got back from breakfast. Kudos go to Andrea our housekeeper, for keeping the rooms so nice. Our private plunge pool was also maintained on a daily basis and was spotless.
Overall this was our best Sandal's experience. Can't wait to go back!! Looking forward to seeing you again Donovan!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •A European Hotel in the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village •Exotic Rondoval with private plunge pool and butler service •1,400 square foot Mediterranean villa with private plunge pool and butler service•Houses the East Caribbean's largest pool (1 of 6) •Offers 9 dining options and 8 bars including an English pub •Voted "World's Most Romantic Resort" 14 years in a row ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
- Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
- Sandals Antigua
- Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
- Sandals Grand Antigua
- Antigua Sandals
- Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish